I had a profound sense of deja vu as I watched President Obama's fifth State Of The Union address. I've heard it all before. His speech was so worn and devoid of new ideas that MSNBC's Chris Matthews deemed it "a masterful address". It doesn't take much for a liberal Democrat to impress the Tingler. Obama probably had Matthews at hello, and by the time our President finished casting everybody in the country except white males in the role of the aggrieved (liberal political tactic #1), I'm sure Matthews was swooning.
My impression of the SOTU was somewhat different. I note two important developments. Foremost, the First Lady looked lovely, sporting her new hairdo and a forest green designer Alaia dress. Very nice. Mrs. Obama didn't quite reach Jackie O standards, but she ranks pretty high on the First Lady fashion-o-meter. Secondly, I'm pretty sure Vice President Biden was blinking some kind of secret morse code message to the Iranians. Rep. Issa should demand a special prosecutor to find out what that was all about.
For those of you who didn't watch the speech, I present the following zombie rhetoric-to-English translation of Obama's beliefs:
1. People who break the law and enter this country illegally deserve to be American citizens, because rewarding lawbreakers is apparently who we are as a people, according to Obama. By the same standard, I guess we should empty our prisons and give all felons shiny new Escalades.
2. Obama says the Republicans should stop trying to repeal Obamacare. Sure it was sold to the country under false pretenses strictly along a party line vote, the American people don't like it, and it's been a complete clusterfark, but Obama will get his legislative mess fixed eventually...UNLESS THE REPUBLICANS KEEP INTERFERING. This is circular logic and rhetorical blame-shifting of the first order, an Obama specialty.
3. Women only earn 77% of what a man earns, according to Obama, and he says that's just WRONG. Even though Obama's contention is not true, as even the liberals at Slate admit, the Democrats gave Obama's false statement a standing ovation, because they love their 'war on women' meme (see: liberal political tactic #1). Obama believes we should do something about female income inequality, even though we already did do something about it 50 years ago, when Obama was still in diapers. It was called the Equal Pay Act of 1963.
4. Obama will end the Afghanistan War this year !!!...but we will still have troops in Afghanistan fighting the non-war for the foreseeable future. If this seems confusing and contradictory to you, that's only because you are a bitter clinger who doesn't understand the power of Obama's rhetoric. If Big Brother says the war is over, the war is over...even if we are still fighting it.
5. Obama said the unemployment rate is the lowest it's been in five years. I addressed this smoke-and-mirrors routine in my previous post, but if Obama wants to laud job creation, he should laud conservative Texas, which led the nation in job creation. Somehow, our President forgot to mention that.
I could go on and on, but you can read it for yourself at the SOTU link provided. I've grown tired of Obama's rhetoric. He invariably adopts the pose that he is outside looking in at America, as if his own policies have nothing whatsoever to do with the state of the union (unless something good happens. Then it's all him). He invariably says things would be so much better if only Congress (read: Republicans) would stop blocking his initiatives, even though President Obama has gotten more economic leeway than any President in American history. He got to spend the second half of the TARP funds ($350 billion). He got an $800 billion stimulus package. He has been allowed to run up record deficits and record debt. The Federal Reserve has propped up the economy to the tune of a trillion dollars per year in quantitative easing on Obama's watch. He got a health care package passed that America was against. He got a major open-ended restructuring of financial regulations with Dodd-Frank. He got tax increases on the wealthy. He got his wars and spying. Obama has gotten a ton, but his acolytes pretend that salvation is just around the corner, with the only roadblock being GOP obstruction. That is nothing but transparent political gamesmanship. Also, if we want to talk about blocking initiatives, maybe the President could have mentioned the 40 or so jobs-related initiatives the GOP has passed in the House that have gone into Nowhere Land on Harry Reid's Senate desk. Why does no one speak of THAT obstruction ? In a divided government, I can barely imagine a President getting more of what he wanted, while giving up next to nothing. If you disagree with me, answer this question. What victories have the Republicans gained in the last five years ? Very few, and now President Obama is making more noises about end-running the legislative process, end-running the Constitution, end-running separation of powers and checks and balances, and implementing his policies by executive fiat. That's not how this country is supposed to work, but when he spoke of ruling by decree at the State Of The Union, the Democrats in attendance stood and CHEERED. That should frighten all of us.
As usual, Obama didn't really give a State Of The Union speech. He gave a political campaign speech. Even after five years as President, that seems to be all he knows how to do.